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This content will become publicly available on October 6, 2023

Title: Towards Substantive Conceptions of Algorithmic Fairness: Normative Guidance from Equal Opportunity Doctrines
In this work we use Equal Opportunity (EO) doctrines from political philosophy to make explicit the normative judgements embedded in different conceptions of algorithmic fairness. We contrast formal EO approaches that narrowly focus on fair contests at discrete decision points, with substantive EO doctrines that look at people’s fair life chances more holistically over the course of a lifetime. We use this taxonomy to provide a moral interpretation of the impossibility results as the incompatibility between different conceptions of a fair contest — foward-facing versus backward-facing — when people do not have fair life chances. We use this result to motivate substantive conceptions of algorithmic fairness and outline two plausible fair decision procedures based on the luck egalitarian doctrine of EO, and Rawls’s principle of fair equality of opportunity.
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Award ID(s):
1916505 1934464 1922658
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
EAAMO '22: Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 10
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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